Developing Physical Power
You have to get to know yourself physiologically. Can anyone point, where's your pancreas? Does anyone know where your pancreas is?
Somewhere in here.
Yeah, somewhere in there, right. I did this at an event a couple weeks ago, I was just testing this material out, and someone literally said, here. (audience laughs) I was like, you're gonna have a hard time matching your physical body if you think your pancreas is here. Just getting to know yourself physiologically. The more familiar you are with the sensations in your specific body, the easier it will be for you to, again, interpret information and not create trauma out of it. And so, what I do, is I'm making sure that I'm always keeping a pretty good baseline on what's happening in my body. This on the side right here, it's called a DEXA Scan. Essentially what it is, is just a scan of my, the muscle mass, the bone mass, and just physical, like the outside, the exterior of my body. It has fat tissue, and total mass, lean tissue, bo...
ne minerals. I do this every three to six months, three to five months, just to keep pulse on where I'm at. And as a baseline, there are a couple things that you wanna do. The first thing, is just schedule a blood test. Get all your important hormones and indicators checked out. Don't just settle for a physical. I went to a physical a couple a years ago and she legit took out one of those knee knocker reflex testers, she tested my knee, okay that works well. Okay, other one works well. And then, she looked in my eye, she looked down my throat. She did the little cuff to check my blood pressure. She's like you're good. I'm like, how do you know I'm good? All you did, what does this do, what does the reflex checker do. They tried to get my blood to get some blood tests run and phlebotomist stuck me four times, and she was like, I can't really get to a vein, but everything else looks good. I'm like, what do you mean it looks good? Ya know, what do you mean? You have to take control over your health internally too with your blood test. A lot of times doctors only check for things either insurance covers or things that are giving you direct issues right now. But, you have to get a whole blood panel done. So now, a couple times a year, twice a year, I'll get my entire blood panel done. I'll get my blood sugar checked, I'll get my lipids checked, I'll get my hormones checked, my testosterone, just to make sure everything is good. You at least have a baseline. If it's not good, or if there is room for improvement, you need to know that. It doesn't mean, just because you don't look at it, like you're an ostrich burying yourself in the sand, that it's not gonna, that something is gonna happen or it's gonna be okay 'cause you're not looking at it. You have to at least know. And that way, you know what, if you are doing well, you could actually have more confidence in yourself and say what I'm doing is working. This is good. You have a baseline. It's not that expensive to get your blood checked. Same thing with a DEXA scanner, some other type of physical benchmark. DEXA scan is like a low level X-ray, which they tell me is not cancerous. It's a low level X-ray and it just takes your physical stuff. You can do like water emersion, you can do calipers, whatever it takes, just measure what's goin' on with your physical body. It's not about necessarily having a certain aesthetic appeal, although if you want that, that's fine. It's about having benchmarks for where you're at, so that you can either make plans for where your going or at least maintain what you enjoy. It's just about understanding what's going on with your body, getting the lay of the land. I'd also recommend exploring alternative modalities of health and wellness. Everything from chiropractic, to acupuncture, to acupressure, to rolfing, they do like cupping and suctions to cryogenic freezing. I freeze myself in negative 212 degrees Celsius a few times a month, just to reduce swelling. And it's actually good for your metabolism. It's good when you train a lot. I just try all these different things, because, again, we're so stuck in this box of Western medicine where we think it's either a pill or nothing, that we don't really take the time to consider that there are other genres of medicine and health, there are other modalities of keeping our body healthy. Also, don't believe everything you read. Don't believe all the Amazon reviews, don't believe all the Yelp reviews. Figure out what works for you, and if acupuncture works for you, then it works for you. It doesn't matter. Joe Dispenza wrote a really good book, it's called, You Are the Placebo. The whole idea behind that book is, it doesn't matter if what's in your head is made up or real, if it makes you feel better, then it's working. It doesn't matter. If you take a sugar pill and it changes your symptoms, then it changed your symptoms. You can have scientist and egg heads all day going, well it doesn't release the same hormones, na, na, na. Or, you could say, actually, this actually wasn't an anti-depressant but I feel less depressed now, so maybe I'm actually making this up in my head, and I have the power to create my own wellness. Try things that you think might help you. Experiment with things. Understand that there are many ways to approach health and heal your body and get creative with it. This is kind of how I think about diet. When I think about diet, my maxim on diet, is observe and test, don't obsess. There are so many different ways to eat now. There are so many different types of diets. There's paleo, there's vegan, there's vegetarian, there's low-carb, high-carb, there's all these different ways that you can change the way that you eat based on some sort of manual or some sort of book. My maxim of this is, you don't have to follow any one specific regime, it's more about being able to test things, that you begin to have some awareness. A lot of people will have pain associated with the word diet because they think it means losing weight, struggle, hard. Yeah, Alron knows this. Losing weight, struggle, hard, uncomfortable, not gonna be able to eat the foods that I like. They have all these negative associations with it. But the reality is, as a practitioner of health, as someone who's looking to master their physical form, the most powerful way to approach this is, I'm gonna try a bunch of stuff. Became a vegan for two weeks, you're not gonna die. You're not gonna lose your muscle. See what happens. Try adding a lot more greens and see if that helps your digestion, I know it's helped for me. Try taking out some meat, try adding more protein. Try different things. And you can follow some of the things that are in the books, you can make your own stuff up. The deadliest thing you can do is to never try anything new for the rest of your life and eat the way your family ate, because that's the way that they've always eaten. Can anyone relate to this? Anyone have these habits where they're eating the way they've always eating 'cause that's the way the family ate, because that's the way the family ate, because that's the way their family ate. It's the quickest way to not make great, fantastic changes in your life. Honestly, like I didn't try to do this but just eat all this stuff. This is all the good stuff. Lots of healthy fats. Avocados for the win. Eggs, they got some, oh, they got some almonds there, some blueberries, yeah eat all the colors. That's actually mostly what you should be eating. But you know, no dog went here but mostly what you should be eating. Yeah, experiment with stuff, have fun with it. It doesn't have to be a chore. Take some time to look at what you're eating and consider if it's actually food or not. It it comes in a box, or sealed in a package, it's probably not food. If it comes frozen, it's probably not fresh. It doesn't have to be expensive to be real food but the cheaper it is, when you're trying to save money on food, that should be the last thing you try to save money on. Lots of things you can save money and skimp on, what you put into your physical body, shouldn't be one of those things. Eat the highest quality food you can within your budget. And by the way, I still have ice-cream, I still eat pizza, I still eat things I enjoy eating, but if you're balanced it to a point where most of what you're putting into your body is really good for it, your body is so powerful and so forgiving that you can pretty much get away with eating some really good stuff, as long as you're feeding it mostly good stuff. It's just like any relationship. Give it a lot of attention, and then sometime you can ignore it a little bit. (laughs) (audience laughs) Hope that's true. Training, so here's the thing about training too, a lot of people will have this idea that they're gonna find this thing that they really love and it's gonna be so much fun. And you know what? On the macro level, I want you to find something physically that you enjoy, that you really like doing, that you love seeing yourself progress in, but just know that on the micro level, on the day-to-day, it's usually not going to be fun. You're gonna have to do it anyway. That's exactly how I feel about jujitsu. I go there, I'm trainin' there at least three times a week and I'm doing weights the other two or three days. Every time I go into jujitsu especially, especially when it's in the morning, I'm like (sighs), I don't really feel like getting chocked right now. It's like eight o'clock in the morning, it would be better if I was in bed. Sometimes on the way to class, I'm thinking about how much I don't want to be there. I'm thinking about, I'm getting pre-tired by thinking about how exhausting it's going to be to go there and fight a grown man in the morning. And it's just my thing. There's lots of things you can do. You can dance, you can climb rocks, you can lift weights, you can do zumba. On a macro scale it should be really fun, on a micro scale you should know that you should be pushing past that pain threshold. Because, remember we're looking for the place where we find that physical mastery and we're having that peak physical experience. The peak physical experience can't come when you're not putting out peak physical effort, when you're not really exerting yourself. So you see those guys at the gym who are like on their phone, doing leg extensions, or like this, like oh yeah, oh yeah, cool, totally. You can't have a peak physical experience like that. You have to actually connect with it because your body and your brain are connected in a very specific way and if you're not focusing on what you're doing and exerting yourself in a very meaningful and productive way, then you're not gonna get to that peak physical experience. And then, they wonder why they're not changing. You have to really dedicate yourself to something physically and you'll start to see the results. And the results might even come psychologically before they come physically. It doesn't mean it's going to be fun but overcoming yourself in that way, on a consistent basis is what's gonna take you from where you are to where you want to be. And again, we're pushing into the unknown here. How can you expect yourself to have a better level of physical performance and fell better in your body, if you're not willing to do things you've never done before. It's impossible, so consider that as you start to think about the things you wanna change. Your vehicle needs attention. You either make time for health or are forced to take time off because of sickness. Either way, the body with take it's time. The takeaway here, is that you are going to have to give your body the attention it deserves. You're either gonna give it the attention, while you're building that power base into it and while you're becoming more powerful, or you're gonna have to step aside as your body heals because you've ignored it. Either way the time will have to be taken so it's on you to decide how you wanna spend that time. And so, just quickly review here. So, creating physical power requires physical awareness. Physical power normalizes robust health over lack of symptoms. So again, we're looking to push into the unknown, push into the area of robust health, other than always feeling like we're just not sick. And of course, your body is an outward manifestation of your inner world, and so you have to care for it accordingly. Things that happen to you and the way that you feel, is the result of what you're putting into your body and how you're treating it internally. That's something that you have to consider at all times. Some quick recommended reading for you, three books that I think would be worth your time to get. These two are bigger concepts. This one is more pure physical body stuff. The Force, by Stuart Wilde, The Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tsu, and Engineering the Alpha, by John Romaniello, those are great book recommendations that will help you on your quest for physical mastery.
So the other day, I was, I got pretty sick. And, I had a hard time, I was talkin' to you actually when this was happening and you were explaining this concept. I had a hard time differentiating between what was actually real sickness and what was just in my mind and letting the symptoms control my energy. Can you explain a little bit of difference, how you kind of see, okay this is the time when you need to take time out, and this is the time when you're just being a slave to your thoughts?
Yeah, I mean that's a good questions. I think there are levels of sickness. You can acknowledge the symptoms without allowing it to control you and some of the time that means that you're gonna be able to move past them. So sometimes you can feel a little bit sick and you can push past it. Other times you can take some downtime for yourself but not allow it to reduce your mental energy. It's okay if you're feeling very sick to lay down and let your body recover, but sometimes that becomes a negative spiral where you're like, I'm so sick, how long am I gonna be sick for? Hope this doesn't last for too long. Oh, I think I can feel another pain that I didn't feel before coming on. Are there stronger medicines I can take? Maybe I'll just sleep this off. There's a difference between acknowledging the physical pain and feeling that resistance, and then allowing yourself to spiral. What I was basically just telling you was, don't allow it to become a spiral. Most sicknesses, if you're already treating your body right, can resolves themselves very quickly. And, part of this is as you develop your physical power, you'll just get sick a lot less. It won't happen as much. And when it does happen, it'll be a surprise. You'll be like, oh I haven't felt like this in years or months, this is weird. The thought that it's weird and abnormal, will almost halfway kick the sickness out the door anyway. You're like, this doesn't happen to me, it's gone. As long as you don't go into self-criticism or the negative spiral, that's where you wanna be. If you feel like you need to rest, do it. You don't have to be masochistic to like, create physical power, you can still take time for yourself, you can be compassionate for yourself. But, just don't let it spiral.
With your concept of pushing through, especially with physical training, reaching your physical peak performance, how do you tie-in resting recovery into all of that?
Yeah, I mean, you're pushing yourself to your peak while you're there, while you're doing the training. For me, and remember to, that your ability to push past certain levels of discomfort, increases over time. In the beginning, as you're learning to push yourself, you're gonna need more rest and recovery 'cause your body is not used to taking it to that level or to that level 'cause it's new. You'll find that you can start to intuitively listen to what's hurting, what's sore, what is feeling a little bit more over exhausted. I know i had this as I was learning to develop my own bodily awareness. So, when I was lifting weights really heavy in the beginning of my body building career, I was like 18, 19, I started when I was 17, 17, 18, 19, I didn't know how to differentiate between being just exhausted from a good session and over trained possibly hurt. A lot of times what happens is people jump into the exhausted physical training and they don't understand their different body signals. So, they'll push so far into the red that they'll end up hurting themselves or injuring themselves and then they'll have to a long period off. And also with that will come some negative mental trauma of last time I worked out, I hurt myself, so I don't wanna hurt myself anymore, or this is too hard. I think what it is is the consistency over time, understanding where your different levels are so that you can know when to push. So now, for instance, when I train, because I've trained for many years now, because I'm used to what my body feels like, I know if I'm in a state where I can really push to my full potential. There will be sometimes when I'm training, especially if I've had a really long week and I'm training at night, I'm just exhausted for other reasons, well I'll go, and I'll say, you know, I could push to my full potential tonight, but that wouldn't be wise. 'Cause you'll understand where your body is at and you'll be able to make decisions in real time. The idea is, you want to have a consistent practice of pushing to your potential, but you don't always want to be burning yourself out. It just means that you have some sort of discipline where you have the potential to push yourself into the unknown and it doesn't mean that every time you train you have to go it to your max. That's setting yourself up, and you have to realize too, your body changes from day-to-day. I'll think of it from a weight lifting example. Some days I can lift more than others, not because I got weaker overnight but because of what I'm eating, because of how much sleep I got, because of where I am mentally. And, as you start to become more aware of this stuff, you'll think, oh, it's not that I got weaker today, I'm not gonna get down on myself, it's that I didn't get much sleep last night, I didn't really eat that well before the training session so my body can't physically do it. But again, that becomes bodily awareness. You think, okay, what have I been eating? How have I been sleeping? How am I feeling, how can I adjust that? And over time you can push yourself more consistently. And supplementation helps too. It starts with good food, but then as you start to build on that, it helps to have some basic supplements that will make you just respond a little bit quicker to the recovery.
This is just an example for how this manifests in the rest of our lives right? Power. What prevents us from taking that step of going from lack of symptoms to peak performance, taking that action itself, why are we always stuck in that place of lack of symptoms, and lack of sickness?
I think part of it is because we're not even familiar with what robust health feels like because we've never done it. So, what you have to do, is you have to say, I've never really experienced what it feels like to be at my peak, but I'm willing to go there even though I don't have a reference point. Once you go there the first few times, and it helps to have a guide, like a trainer or someone who can guide you in whatever pursuit you're doing. Or there's an instructor, or a trainer, or a coach, helps to have someone to push you to get you there. 'Cause sometimes you don't have the mental tools to be able to push yourself through that threshold. Even a training partner is great. When I was training at my best, when I was really peaking, I always had a training partner who I could push him with, he could push me, I could push him. You might need someone else to pull you along and then what happens is, after the first few times of feeling what it's like to truly give yourself into physical activity, then you'll be like, oh that's what this is. It's always a reference point back, so then you can know from then on how much you're actually pushing yourself. And then, it becomes a question of just how do you calibrate it, and over time you'll become more comfortable pushing yourself into the edge. We don't usually push ourselves, because it's painful, it's painful. But we associate with pain as direction to stop, but it's mostly just information. It's almost like, have you guys ever sat, tried to meditate, you sat cross-legged in the lotus position and your legs start to hurt, your hips start to hurt, ever experienced that before? Well, sometimes I'll be sitting in that position and I'll experience that, and I'll be meditating, we'll talk about that more today, and I'll go, ah, ah, ah, my hips hurt, and I gotta get up, I gotta move. And then I'll say wait, maybe I can reinterpret this into information and not pain and just say, well maybe it doesn't really hurt, maybe it's just that this is what it feels like when it stretches. And as you reinterpret that, you're like, oh, maybe this isn't painful. And you just reorganize how that thought is related to your head and it's easier to push pass that because you're no longer thinking of it as pain, you're thinking of it as, this is just what my body does when it stretches. If you're doing yoga, you can go, ow, ow, ow, ow, and that will make it hurt, or you can say, oh this is what my hamstring feels like when it's fully extended, wow that's intense. You know? But not painful, just intense. As you do that more and more, you get more familiar in that zone of intensity and it's like, oh, I can go there. It gets easier.
How do you talk about, or think about developing physical strength for people that may have things considered disabilities?
The physical strength is completely subjective and independent, it's within your capabilities within your lifetime. The last thing you wanna do is compare your physical ability to someone else's because that just simply doesn't make sense. You can have inspiration or motivation of things that you wanna achieve, but it doesn't really make sense to compare your physicality to someone else's, because you're literally inherently different. We all come with different capabilities, different symptoms, different strengths. You know, there are so many of my other friends who are more athletic, who are gonna look better than I do with less training, who are going to be able to perform better. And then, also I have people who I can outperform without trying as hard, and I have different things that they don't. We all have different skills and abilities and so it's more about like figuring out what your peak performance will be within your capabilities. Now, what you'll find is that, let's say you do have a disability. As you push past that disability, to the limits of your comfort and slightly beyond, you'll find that many times your capabilities do stretch, and so then you create a new area of control. So maybe your barrier was here, your line was here, and as you push a little bit past that line, now you're line of comfort pushes a little bit further and you have a little bit more autonomy within that space and that autonomy creates not just a physical ability, but a confidence. You can see that the work you put in, creates a new result, and that creates the idea in your head that there can be change. It should never come from a comparative sense, 'cause that only makes it harder on you.
This isn't really a question, more of a observation, or comment, but one thing that stood out is you're saying that in the Western world we generally run to pills and medicine, one of the reasons that I asked about mental health earlier was because I feel like, a lot of the time we run to food to solve mental health problems. And I was just wondering what your thought is on that?
Well, first of all, who can relate to that? What's your name?
Dee, hey Dee. Who can relate to Dee on that? Yeah, running to food. What foods do you guys run to. I wanna know, I'm curious.
Carbs, carbs, carbs, carbs.
Who's a sugary person, who's a salty person? Sugary? Sugary? Who's salty? Ooh, you's guys are so salty. I think I alternate depending on the season. I think right now, I'm in a sugary mood, but I could be salty, yeah.
Yeah, and I used to be a health and fitness coach. I've seen how much power food can over you. How do you take back that power?
Tremendous influence. I think that part of it, and we'll talk a little bit more about programming in the next section, but I think part of it is, at least understanding those addictions for what they are. And understanding why the occur. Many of the food addictions that we have, start from some sort of physical cue. It's like, I get home from work, and everyday when I get home from work, I'm so exhausted, so I sit on the couch, which is my cue and then I'm gonna eat a whole bag of tortilla chips, 'cause that's what I do. I sit on the couch, I eat tortilla chips and watch T.V. And, because I'm eating tortilla chips and watching T.V., the reward here is I get sleepy and I wanted to go to bed anyway, so this all works out. A lot of times we have these programs that are built up, that create almost invisible habits that we don't recognize until we see the results in the physical world, you don't know how to deconstruct those. Part of it is looking at the habits that we're creating for ourselves, understanding what the cue is, what the routine is that we're doing, and what the reward is. We're gonna cover that in depth, but they're built around conditioning. It takes some awareness to step out of that and takes some awareness to reorganize and recalibrate that and it doesn't happen over night. But, it's within our control. And food is one of the most powerfully addictive drugs there is out there. I've also found that you can, to a certain extent, starve those cravings by replacing it with good food. Because one, if you're hungry, a lot of times the food that you're craving doesn't really satiate you as much because things that are high in carbs, and things that are high in sugar, and fat, and salt, they just taste so good that you wanna keep eating them but you never really feel full. I can eat an entire bag of tortilla chips and I will not be full, I'll feel a little bit worse but I could eat a whole dinner after that. You know, because it's not really filling. A lot of the foods that we are programmed to eat don't actually fill us up and so if we fill ourselves with good stuff first, it's easier to not binge, but it's still challenging. It's a whole game of creating this reorganization of the way we think about food.